The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) was established in the year 2000 in the Ministry of Health. Its mandate is to collect, test, and process and distribute blood and blood products to all transfusing hospitals in Kenya.

KNBTS has six Regional Blood Transfusion Centres (RBTCs) namely Nairobi, Embu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa and 14 satellite centers located in Machakos, Kisii, Voi, Meru, Naivasha, Kakamega, Kericho, Nyeri, Garissa, Malindi, Thika, Lodwar, Bungoma and Kitale.

Functionally all the six RBTCs and fourteen satellites carry out blood collections, grouping, storage and distribution except for Naivasha and Kericho. Blood testing and processing is restricted to the six RBTCs except for preparation of packed red cells that is also done at a few selected satellites.


“A world leader in the provision of safe blood for all.”


“To provide safe blood for all in an equitable, efficient and effective manner towards improved human health and quality of life in Kenya.”


  1. Strategic and proactive approach to issues.
  2. Efficiency with efficacy in performance of work and use of resources.
  3. Honesty and trustworthiness.
  4. Quality assurance and enhancement on a continuous basis.
  5. Discipline at all times in all areas while carrying out KNBTS business.
  6. Respect for self and others.
  7. Equal opportunities to all.

Overall KNBTS Objectives

  1. Improve equity and access to blood transfusion services.
  2. Ensure safety of blood for transfusion.
  3. Strengthen the organization and management structure of KNBTS to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
  4. Strengthen quality assurance systems and monitoring capacity of KNBTS.
  5. Foster partnerships and improve financing of KNBTS activities.

KNBTS Key Achievements

  • Established visible integrated service

  • Trained and dedicated personnel

  • Infrastructure developed

  • Management system in place

  • Increased blood collection

  • Reduced prevalence of TTIs

  • Policy guidelines developed

Background of Blood Transfusion Service in Kenya

  • 1930s: transfusions were organized around surgical practice.

  • 1950s: with increasing demand, BRCS organized BTS.

  • 1964: after independence the GOK with KRCS support took over.

  • Late 1960s: BTS was run as part of hospital laboratory services with no dedicated budget line, staff, or equipment. Each hospital sourced for their own blood.

  • From 1985: with advent of HIV/AIDS, reduced blood collections, increased cost of blood and increased emphasis on blood safety became more critical.

  • The need for Adequate and reliable supply of blood became apparent immediately after the August 7, 1998 Bomb explosion in Nairobi.

  • The service was established with the assistance of US Government in 2001

Kenya’s Key Milestones

  • In 1994 Kenya recognized the need to set up a national blood service in line with WHO recommendations and WHA resolutions.

  • Recommendations were made to establish a regional network of transfusion centres under central coordination

  • In 2001 Kenya’s first ever blood policy guidelines were developed and launched and first Regional blood transfusion centre (RBTC) and national coordinating office were established in Nairobi.

  • Progressively 6 regional and 10 satellite centres have been established.

  • Blood policy guidelines developed: National Blood Transfusion standards, Hemovigilance manual for transfusing hospitals, Appropriate use of blood and blood products, among others

  • KNBTS is currently deploying a vein to vein centralized Blood Establishment Computerized system in all its centres